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Police: Transients Assaulted Ashland Man, Made Homophobic Comments

An Ashland man had to be treated for minor injuries after an altercation with a group of transients who were harassing him, according to police.

Posted: Oct. 25, 2018 11:58 AM
Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 12:01 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — Two transients in the Ashland area were taken into custody on Wednesday night after they harassed and assaulted a local man, according to the Ashland Police Department (APD).

Investigators believe that 44-year-old Christopher Johnson of Ashland was walking home when he came by a group of people "hanging out" at a small park near Granite and High Streets.

"The investigation revealed that some within the group made homophobic comments to Johnson, who is gay," APD said in a statement.

Johnson then confronted the group of men — who quickly surrounded him. One of the men, 21-year-old Alejandro Almirall-Nieves "menaced [Johnson] with a guitar." Then 20-year-old William James Kelso began assaulting Johnson, according to APD.

APD said that Johnson sustained minor injuries during the assault, including some from Kelso's dog. Johnson later sought treatment for those injuries.

Kelso has been charged with Disorderly Conduct 2nd Degree, Intimidation 1st Degree, and Assault in the 3rd Degree. Almirall-Nieves has been charged with Menacing, Disorderly Conduct 2nd Degree, Intimidation 1st Degree, Assault 3rd Degree.

Police are still looking to speak with anyone who witnessed the incident — particularly an "unknown female" who may have been present.

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